Leaders and Strategies in Real Life: 2/21/17

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Instead of studying leadership, why not spend some time studying leaders and strategies in the wild? You can learn a lot from leadership experts, but you always see the leader and what he or she does through the expert’s personal lens. Supplement that learning with studying real leaders in real life situations and draw your own conclusions. The posts in this series will help you.

Every week I’ll point you to articles by and about real leaders in real situations and to articles about how real companies are faring in the marketplace. Read them. Think about them. Draw your own lessons and conclusions from them. Then try to apply those lessons in your own real life.

This week, the theme is: now for something completely different. So I’m pointing you to stories about a fellow with a an auto-frame straightening shop and a torture chamber in the basement andan animal-free circus that’s going strong while Ringling goes out of business. There’s the story of Bonny Simi who’s been an Olympian, a commercial pilot, and a venture capitalist, so far. There’s a story about why the CEO of Red Robin just got a tattoo and about a Kansas City gift shop that’s been going strong for more than 80 years.

From Donald Bradley: Meet the guy who’s got a torture chamber in the basement

“People have long gone to Hollywood to get into movies. Most never see a movie set. Then there’s Jerry Vest. He opens an auto frame-straightening business in his old Kansas City, Kan., neighborhood and somehow — look behind the counter — that’s a picture of him in a movie with Patrick Swayze. So, what is it about this 63-year-old guy with a car on the lift and three more waiting? How did he get in ‘North and South’? And ‘Far and Away’ with Tom Cruise?”

From Huga Martin: This small, animal-free circus in California is doing what Ringling Bros. couldn’t

“Circus Vargas trapeze artist Yasmin Rivera had donned her red, white and blue leotard and applied her heavy, glittery makeup. Soon she would be dangling from a cable under the big top, more than 20 feet in the air. But as showtime neared on a recent Sunday night in Del Mar, Rivera had a task to perform: handing out tickets to the growing crowd.”

From Luke Stangel: Bonny Simi: Navigating from Olympian to Pilot to Venture Capitalist

“Bonny Simi has an eclectic resume. She’s a three-time Olympian and former broadcast journalist with three degrees from Stanford. She later became a commercial airline pilot and executive, and now leads the venture capital arm at JetBlue.”

From Josh Linkner: Her tattoo shows how far she’ll go for results

“Under the neon-lit skies of Las Vegas, Denny Marie Post just got inked. Her new tattoo was skillfully applied to her left shoulder while friends cheered her on. But unlike a typical college-age stunt that one lives to regret, the 59-year-old Post was actually delivering on a business commitment in her role as CEO of fast-growing Red Robin Restaurants.”

From Joyce Smith: How Shop Beautiful in Brookside has kept its charm and fans for 81 years

“In 1936, two sisters opened a little Brookside boutique called Shop Beautiful. More than eight decades later it’s still there, now owned by sisters of a different family but with the same mission: meaningful, personal gifts that will brighten someone’s day.”

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